Purpose: 1. To evaluate the effect of tooth age on the microtensile bond strengths (µTBS) of various adhesive systems to dentin; 2. To evaluate the effect of different etching times on the microtensile bond strengths of different adhesive systems to young vs mature dentin.
Materials and Methods: One hundred twenty intact human teeth were mechanically ground to expose midcoronal dentin and were randomly assigned to three groups (n = 40) according to subjects’ age in years: 15 to 25, 35 to 45, and >= 55. Within each group, specimens were further randomized into 8 subgroups according to adhesive (etch-and-rinse 3- and 2-step; self-etching 2- and 1-step) and etching time (manufacturer instructions vs extended). Resin composite was applied to the treated surfaces, and after 24 h, all specimens were processed for microtensile bond strength testing. Data were analyzed by factorial ANOVA and Tukey’s test (p = 0.05).
Results: µTBS values ranged from 10.9 MPa (2-step self-etching, extended etching time, age group 15 to 25) to 50.7 MPa (1-step self-etching, extended etching time, age group >= 55). With only one exception, tooth age and etching time had no significant effect on the bond strengths of the adhesives to dentin. The 2-step self-etching system had lower bond strengths than the other systems, regardless of etching time or tooth age.
Conclusion: Tooth age and etching time did not affect the dentin bond strengths of the adhesives tested.
Keywords: dentin bonding, dentin age, adhesive application time, etching time, microtensile test